One city in China (Shangyu) has over thousand umbrella factories.
Umbrellas can be used as offensive and defensive weapon. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was first who started using Kevlar coated umbrella as a part
of his security measures.
Umbrella can be used offensively as a weapon, or its shaft can effectively hide a secret blade. Modern security agencies are known to modify umbrellas for their secret purposes. For example, Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov was assassinated in 1978 by KGB agent who carried deadly poison in his modified umbrella.
Many religions adopted umbrellas and parasols as a part of their ceremonies and processions.
One of the most famous hat that serve as some sort of big parasol is Mexican sombrero (which can be translated as "shade maker").
During the 19th century, European fashion demanded that umbrellas must be held in the middle of their shaft, with handle pointing toward the ground.
English nobility preferred umbrellas made from blue or green silk.
Steel ribbed umbrellas were invented in 1852 by Samuel Fox.
First working "folding umbrella" was introduced in 1969 by Bradford Philips.
Over 33 million umbrellas are sold in United States each year.
First use of simple made sun protecting umbrellas (parasols) comes from 3-4 thousand year old Egypt and Assyria. The exact time when parasols from
natural materials (palm leaves) were made is not known, although scientist speculate they were used since the dawn of human civilization.
During its first thousand years of life, parasols were viewed as a symbol of wealth and power. Many civilizations practiced tradition of showcasing
exotic and complex made parasols of their rulers.
First waterproofed umbrellas were created in ancient China, over 3 thousand years ago. Many Asian rulers showcased their might with multi-tiered
parasols that sometimes had up to 20 levels of protection.
From around 1000 BC to 400 AD, small and foldable parasols (in their design almost identical to modern umbrellas) represented one of the fashion
accessories of females in Greece and Rome.
During the European Middle Ages, people protected themselves against sun and rain with long waterproofed coats and hats. This tradition spread across
the world during the Age of Discovery, but was soon.